Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cashew Chicken


Every month I write a recipe column for my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice.  This column was published in their March 6th, 2014 issue. 

[Every time we go for Chinese food, my husband always consistently orders his two usual’s – beef and greens and ginger beef.  I have my favorites too, but unless I’m specifically craving something, I try to get something different every time.   The dish that probably makes it the most frequent appearance on my rotation is Cashew Chicken. It’s just an all out great combination of tender chicken, crisp vegetables, and is paired perfectly with a sweet and spicy sauce topped off with a nutty cashew crunch.   What’s not to love?



Below is the traditional way of making cashew chicken, though I almost always deviate from this recipe slightly depending on what types of veggies I have in the crisper.  Broccoli is one of my favorite stir-fry veggies, so more often than not it generally makes it’s way into this dish.   90% of the time I also have carrots, so they usually make an appearance as well!  One thing you’ll never see on my plate is celery or mushrooms, but often restaurants will include these veggies in their dish.

After trying out a few different variations of this recipe at home, I think I have the closest match to my favorite take-out selection.  Now if only I can tackle beef and greens and ginger beef I’ll be set!] 

Recipe serves 4

Ingredients
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breast, diced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 cup unsalted cashews

For Sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisen sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp cornstarch (helps thicken sauce)

Directions

Preheat a large wok over medium heat, and then add olive oil.  Lightly fry the chicken until ¾ cooked through.  Add onions, and continue cooking the chicken until no pink remains. 

Add green pepper pieces, garlic, and ginger and fry until green peppers are tender (about 5 minutes).

Add cashews and cook for a remaining 1-2 minutes until cashews are warm throughout and lightly toasted.

Combine sauce ingredients and add to stir fry mixture, bringing sauce to a boil, stirring until thickened (about 1-2 minutes).

I usually serve mine with quinoa or rice, but it’s also great just on it’s own.

Nutritional Info (per serving)

Calories - 325   Fat - 15    Carbs – 17     Protein - 32   Fibre – 2

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